$3.4 TRILLION LOST

A just released study using Government statistics, published by United Income called “The Retirement Solution Hiding in Plain Sight” highlighted the fact that American’s have lost and are losing $3.4 Trillion or $111,000 per household in Social Security benefits by claiming benefits incorrectly!  Claiming benefits too early is the cause of this loss in lifetime benefits! 40% claim benefits at age 62, while only 4% wait until the optimal age of 70. So why is that so many people make this mistake?  It is my Continue reading →

Taxes and Social Security Benefits

A recent reader asked me to write on the taxation of Social Security benefits, so here goes.  Social Security can be non taxed or partially taxed based upon their income in that year.  The IRS calculation is based upon one’s Provisional Income and includes 1) Adjusted gross income (AGI) without the Social Security income, plus 2) one-half of their Social Security income + tax-exempt bond interest. The first step is to see if Social Security income is taxed by comparing Provisional Income to the attached Continue reading →

How Old Are You?

What’s your date of birth is the first question always asked when I run a Social Security analysis, but is it the right question to ask?  Your chronological age is used to determine when is the earliest you claim, your FRA (Full Retirement Age) allows you to claim without worrying about the Earnings Test and if you delay until age 70 you receive maximum benefits.  But is using one’s Birthday the best or most important parameter as to when to claim benefits? What’s your check Continue reading →

3 TRUTHS IN LIFE

#1 The Only Certainty in Life is Uncertainty #2 Life is Not Fair #3 You Must Play the Hand Your Dealt If I only knew ___________!  It is always easy to look back and say if only I had ________.  Since we do not have that luxury, the only way to navigate life is to make decisions and live our daily lives with what we do know today.  To study, to be open minded, to look at the facts and to make rational decisions, but Continue reading →

Life Happens – Things Change

  March 2019 Newsletter Mistakes are being made, opportunities are being lost and ignorance is not bliss!  In the last month I’ve received several phone calls from clients and referrals regarding Social Security claiming, below is a brief synopsis of several calls; Joe will turn 70 in August 2019, he’s planning on postponing benefits until his 70th birthday.  In March of 2018 his wife had passed away.  Joe did not realize that he could have received survivorship benefits (100% of his wife’s benefits) starting last Continue reading →

Proposed Changes to Social Security Benefits

Dear Friends, This is my first newsletter to clients who’ve retained me, to help them determine how and when to claim Social Security benefits. Over the past 5 years I’ve consulted with over 1000 couples and individuals as it relates to claiming Social Security benefits. I’m doing this because of recent calls and emails I’ve received regarding LIFE CHANGES they’ve experienced (Deaths, Divorce, Health Changes, Financial Issues, Etc.) that could possibly change the advice I gave them initially. Please let me know your thoughts and suggestions as to content Continue reading →

Proposed Changes to Social Security Benefits

With the Democrats now in charge of the House, they recently introduced The Social Security 2100 Act.  I thought it would be timely and appropriate to look at their proposed changes and see how it might affect my ongoing consultations and the clients I serve.  The objective of the bill would be to increase benefits while at the same time increasing the solvency of Social Security for the rest of the Century. Positives Provide an across-the-board benefit increase of 2% of the average Social Security Continue reading →

Multiple New Year’s Factoids

  While cleaning up my desk and inbox over the Holiday’s I came across a number of articles, factoids and issues, I thought would warrant sharing as we start a New Year; Maximum Earnings Subject to FICA taxes has increase from $128,400 to $132,900 in 2019 Meaning an individual who owns their own business and maxes out, will pay 12.4% or $16,479 in FICA taxes in 2019 That is a long way from the $14,100 of earnings subject to FICA in 1975, my 1st year Continue reading →

Social Security 102 – START-STOP-START

In 2015 there were 2 major changes relating to spousal claiming, the elimination of the File & Suspend Option on April 29, 2016 and the elimination of the Restricted Claiming Provision for those born after January 1, 1954.  The Restricted Claiming Provision allowed one spouse the ability to claim spousal benefits at age 66 while postponing their own benefits until age 70.  This affected not only married couples, but it also affects those people who are divorced, who were married for at least 10 years Continue reading →

Retirement, Social Security and Poverty in the US

Much like gym memberships in January when everyone is setting new goals for the upcoming year, I see a spike in Social Security consultations around the holidays.  I think the number one reason is that we take time to reflect upon our own financial situation, where we are at and where we are going, but we also gather with family and friends and many discussions lead to retirement plans and finances including when to claim Social Security. This is an overview of a recent study Continue reading →